Kinetic 1/48 Mirage 2000D w/dual GBU-12/22 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||July 2021||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Subject||Mirage 2000D w/dual GBU-12/22||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48120||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The Mirage 2000 arose from the French Air Force requirement for a Future Combat Aircraft (ACF) to replace its aging Mirage III. With the defeat of the Mirage F.1 by the General Dynamics F-16 for the NATO tactical fighter requirement, Dassault developed two designs, the twin-engined Super Mirage and a single-engined design based on the Mirage III. The French Air Force turned down the Super Mirage as too costly and development of the single-engined variant ensued and dubbed Mirage 2000. Development of the Mirage 2000 proceeded very quickly given that the airframe was essentially a Mirage III that was modified to accommodate the SNECMA M53 Super Atar engine and much of the airframe volume used for older avionics and traditional flight control systems were recycled to accommodate advanced fly-by-wire systems as well as state-of-the-art avionics. First flight of the Mirage 2000 was 27 months after program start. In contrast, the P-51 Mustang took only four months, the F-16 about two years, and the X-35 (F-35 prototype) took about four years.
The Mirage 2000 was originally developed as a single-seat fighter-interceptor to replace the Mirage III, with the two-seat Mirage 2000B developed as the trainer variant. The Mirage 2000B design was further modified for sustained low-level flight and delivery capability of the nuclear ASMP missile to replace the aging Mirage IV, this variant was designated as Mirage 2000N. The Mirage 2000D was a further development based on the Mirage 2000N to provide precision strike capability with conventional weapons. Like many air forces around the world, the Mirage 2000D makes use of the second crewman to provide that extra pair of eyes as well as manage the weapons and guidance systems while the pilot deals with sustained low-altitude flight in a hostile environment.
Kinetic Models has reissued their 1/48 Mirage 2000B/D/N kit from 10 years ago and includes the same sprues as before plus one new tree that contains a pair of GBU-12 and a pair of GBU-22 laser-guided bombs (LGB). The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on nine parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. While the design of the kit is modular to support the three different aircraft types, you can see from the fuselage and wings that these differences are not significant enough to cause assembly challenges. The instructions clearly show you which parts are needed in each step to render the variant you are interested in building, however these are the same instructions as the original release, so they don'r provide assembly instructions for the LGBs or what pylons these should be suspended from. The painting instructions were updated and show painting and stenciling for the LGBs and now all of the previous GSI paint callouts have been replaced with Ammo paints. Peachy...
Among the features of the kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpits
- Separately molded tires and wheel hubs for easy painting
- Positionable flight control surfaces (except rudder)
- Three different tails
- Positionable canopies
- Parts to render the Mirage 2000B, 2000D, or 2000N
Among the weapons and stores in this release:
- 2 x Magic 1
- 2 x Magic 2
- 1 x centerline tank
- 2 x wing tanks
- 2 x AS-30L
- ATLIS targeting pod
- 2 x GBU-12
- 2 x GBU-22
This reissue has the same markings options as their kit 48032:
- Mirage 2000B, 5-OK, French AF
- Mirage 2000D, 3-JS, French AF
- Mirage 2000N, 4-BB, French AF
- Mirage 2000BG, 202, Hellenic AF
These decals are nicely done and include a nice suite of airframe stenciling and weapons markings. Painting instructions are based on Ammo paints.
This kit is still the best option for the two-seat Mirage 2000 variants in 1/48 scale and though the box says this release is a Mirage 2000D, the parts, instructions, and decals are for the Mirage 2000B, Mirage 2000D, and Mirage 2000N. The other good news is that this kit is available at $20 USD less from Lucky Model than the original release still in stock at Sprue Brothers.
My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!